Speak Kindly: Stop beating yourself up

Last week I had a conversation with a friend who was disappointed in herself for not achieving a goal that she intended to accomplish. As I listened to her talk about what she could have done differently, I was amazed at how hard she was on herself.  Really hard.  Isn’t it strange how we actually think that berating ourselves will somehow make a positive difference?  On the contrary, this negative habit usually keeps us stuck and unhappy. Negative self-talk is always a roadblock on the path to success.

To gain a bit of perspective, imagine saying the following to a teenager who was attempting to fulfill an important goal:

  • You don’t have what it takes.
  • You’ll never get it right.
  • Lower your expectations.
  • You’re not good enough.
  • It’s already been done.  Don’t bother.
  • You should have accomplished this goal by now.

How often do you say these kinds of things to yourself?  Every now and then? Every other day?  Every day?  Every few minutes?  Come on!  You’re so much more than that .

As you continue to live your life and to invest in your personal growth, please remember the following:

  • Be patient with yourself. If it takes you longer to get where you want to go, there might be a reason for it. If you could rise above your life and view it from a higher perspective you’d see exactly why things happen as they do. Allow for Divine timing. It works .
  • Ask for help and guidance. I still catch myself trying to go it alone during the most challenging of times. Slowly but surely I am learning that isolation not only slows down my progress, it makes me feel incredibly alone. You don’t need to suffer in silence. Give someone an opportunity to help you. They’ll get to experience the joy and pleasure that comes from being a generous spirit.
  • Embrace your disappointment and begin again. You will always face disappointment when you allow yourself to want more from life. And you can live through it.  As you face disappointment and come out the other side, you’ll develop self-trust – a deep inner knowing that you can handle anything that comes your way.
  • Speak kindly to yourself. Think of yourself as the teenager in the example above. When you’re feeling discouraged the last thing you need is a critical parent beating you up. Instead, give yourself a gentle, loving reminder that your goals aren’t nearly as important as your relationship to yourself.

When you feel stuck or unsure of your next step, keep your heart and mind open with positive self-talk (see our Take Action Challenge below). As you do, you’ll find that wisdom and insight suddenly appear to guide you in the right direction.

Take Action Challenge

This week, pay attention to how you speak to yourself. The moment you catch yourself being mean or unhelpful, counteract the negative message with positive, self-accepting words of encouragement. Try these statements:

  • I have exactly what it takes to succeed.
  • I appreciate every single thing I do to make life better.
  • I am so blessed to spend my life with me .
  • I am strong and resilient.
  • Everything is happening exactly as it should.
  • I have unwavering trust in Divine timing.

Or, my new favorite: “Life is conspiring in my favor.”

Remember, your thoughts direct the course of your life. Make sure you’re headed in the right direction :-)

This week’s video was posted on my Facebook page and it’s the cutest Easter bonnet I’ve ever seen.  Thanks Elyn! You’ll find it here.

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Author Information

Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

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